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Oil futures get lift on China demand hopes

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Oil futures rose Tuesday, finding support as ongoing hopes a revival in crude demand from China run strong.

A devastating earthquake that left thousands dead in Turkey and Syria and Turkey’s Ceyhan oil export terminal, with a capacity of 1 million barrels a day, was expected to be closed through Wednesday, Reuters reported.

See: How to help Turkey earthquake victims: ‘Give cash’ and ‘take the long view’

Price action
  • West Texas Intermediate crude for March delivery

    rose $1.18, or 1.6%, to $75.27 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

  • April Brent crude

    the global benchmark, rose $1.15, or 1.4%, to $82.14 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe.

  • March gasoline
    was up 2.3% at $2.429 a gallon, while March heating oil
    gained 1.8 % to $2.819 a gallon.

  • March natural gas
    fell 0.3% to $2.45 per million British thermal units.

Market drivers

Crude was lifted Monday after Saudi Arabia unexpectedly raised most prices for oil to be shipped to Asia, reflecting increased demand for crude, analysts said.

“The price of the barrel is finding support as the reopening of the Chinese economy, following the end of the zero-COVID policy, is expected to drive a significant increase in demand for crude this year,” said Ricardo Evangelista, senior analyst at ActivTrades, in a note.

“At the same time, the earthquake in Turkey forced the shutting down of a major export terminal, responsible for 1 million barrels per day, exacerbating supply side pressures and contributing to increases in oil prices,” he said.

Evangelista also noted that gains for crude prices have come alongside a bounce for the U.S. dollar. Typically a stronger dollar is a negative for commodities priced in the unit, making them more expensive to users of other currencies.

The ICE U.S. Dollar Index
a measure of the currency against a basket of six major rivals, edged up 0.1% and has bounced 1.6% so far this month.


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